The Jumpshot Jammin’ Giraffe
Released in 1993
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have had a long history of being associated with sport throughout their history. Whether it be the Olympic games, baseball or even sumo wrestling, there were plenty of figures and advertisements of the TMNT participating in some of our favorite games. So it comes to kind of a surprise to me that there weren’t more figures of characters that were associated with a sports theme. Sure, there were plenty of variants of the Turtles playing baseball or participating in powerlifting, but there was only one figure that had a definite sports theme to them and that was Halfcourt, the basketball loving giraffe.
(Casey Jones doesn’t count because he only used sports equipment to fight off the bad guy of the week)
Halfcourt is another figure in the line that had no other TMNT-related media associated to them. He’s never been in any comics or episodes of any animated incarnation of the Turtles, but his action figure fits right in with the crazier figures that were making their presence known throughout the early 90’s. According to Halfcourt’s backstory…wait…apparently, Halfcourt has no backstory. He just appeared one day and decided, “Yeah, Shredder’s a bad guy. I’m gonna take him out.”
While this guy may not have much history to him, he is a great figure to behold. Decked out in a red basketball jersey and blue shorts, this towering figure features an “extendo” neck to increase his height, a broken basketball rim dangling from his neck, and a deflated b-ball under his shoe in an attempt to make it easier to stand this top-heavy figure.
One of the best features on this figure is his joints at the elbow that help him emulate his prowess with a basketball (which is actually a beehive!).
This may seem like a silly thing to get excited about, but there are so very few figures in the line that have this function, add to that a peg on his right hand that can plug into his beehive basketball(!), and you’ve got all you need to take it to the hoop or to the Foot.
While he’s got great action features and accessories, I have to say that I am disappointed with the way this figure stands. Out of all of the figures in this entire line, he is without a doubt the hardest figure to stand up, thanks in no small part to the backboard that plugs into the back of Halfcout’s neck. Maybe it’s just me, but the added weight of the board made him unbalanced and would cause him to fall on his face more often than not. I was able to fix this by opting to not pose him with the backboard, which is a shame because he just looks to cool with it on for him to not wear it. And then there’s the action feature on his neck that can make his neck extend. Again, this is a great feature…that severely limits his neck rotation. Not a deal breaker, but a nuisance that I just can’t ignore.
Turtle Trivia: I don’t know this for sure, but I think Playmates was making a basketball reference to Charles Barkley or Shaquille O’Neil, as they wore the same number on their jersey as Halfcourt wears on his: 34.